Coffee and Contemplation: Hunt for Happiness Week

Hunt for Happiness Week is the third week of January. It was founded in 2001 by The Society of Happy People. The society often has events, but the purpose of the week is to get people to look at what things make them happy. This might include activities or people you enjoy being around. This might seem like a strange idea, but have you actually thought about what makes you happy? Happiness is an attitude or mindset you create for yourself. It doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it everyday. For some, this is an easy task. For most of us, it can be difficult. 

There are a few things I’ve been doing for the past few years to help with my happiness. I don’t identify with any one religion, but I do like the practices of Buddhism. I don’t mean this as a religion but only as spiritual practice. One practice is being kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Another thing I’ve done is keeping a ‘hunt the good stuff’ journal. Everyday before bed, I write down at least three good things that happened to me that day and why they were important to me. I’ve done this everyday for almost 18 months. The point is, think about what makes you happy or unhappy. Then try to do the things that make you happy and don’t do the things that make you unhappy. Easier said than done. Enjoy Hunt for Happiness Week.

National Nothing Day

Today is one of the more interesting holidays. January 16 is National Nothing Day. The intention is to have one day where there is nothing to celebrate. One in seven January 16th often fall on Martin Luther King, Jr Day, which is the third Monday of January, thereby usurping the concept of celebrating nothing. However, celebrating nothing can come in many forms. Perhaps for the whole day you respond with nothing. What are you plans today? Nothing. What’s for dinner? Nothing. Perhaps you send an email with nothing written and leave it blank. I think one should decide what nothing truly means to them and take appropriate action.

Nothing is a pronoun meaning not anything, no single thing. I think one could argue that it doesn’t mean the absence of things but a lack of distinction. This might propose some existential questions, but I believe that nothing does not mean a lack of things. In a way, this post is really about nothing. I do hope you’ll all leave nothing in the comments. I had considered not posting at all today. But no post would be something. And a post about nothing is something. And also nothing. What is anything really? What is nothing?

In 1972, columnist Harold Pullman Coffin proposed National Nothing Day. The day has been observed in all its nothingness since 1973.  The observance is sponsored by Coffin’s National Nothing Foundation, registered in Capitola, California.

Wacky Wednesday: January 13

Today is filled with many things. We have some great words, some remembrances, and some trivial things to celebrate. We continue our exploration into old English insults with Raggabrash. This word refers to a disorganized or grubby person. We all know someone who always seems out-of-sorts no matter how much they plan ahead. Next we have Rakefire. This refers to a visitor who outstays their welcome. This used to mean, and the name comes from, someone who stayed so late the dying coals in the fireplace would need to be raked over to keep it burning. 

We’ll start our holidays off with the token food holiday. Today is National Peach Melba Day. This is a dessert with peaches, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry sauce. It may even include whipped cream and a cherry on top. Today is also Korean American Day commemorating the first Korean immigrants coming to the United States in 1903. And it’s Stephen Foster Memorial Day celebrating the music of the first US composer. He’s songs include “Oh, Susanna,” and “Camptown Races.” And finally, today is also National Rubber Ducky Day and National Sticker Day. Someone makes stickers of rubber duckies, right?